Grand Canyon Railway Steam Locomotive
The Grand Canyon Railway at Williams, Arizona commemorated National Train Day with a series of short Cataract Creek Rambler excursions pulled by their Baldwin Mikado 2-8-2 #4960 steam locomotive on May 8 and 9, 2010. The price of a ticket was just $15. The excursions ran hourly from 10:00 AM. Each hour the train pulled out of the station to the wye east of town. Then it backed up to mile post 4 on the line leading north to the Grand Canyon. It reversed direction and steamed back to the wye, and then backed into the Williams depot to load up for its next run.
Xanterra Parks & Resorts bought the Grand Canyon Railway in 2006. Their bookkeepers had little regard for history or the steam rail heritage of Grand Canyon National Park. They cited environmental concerns to end steam locomotive service to the Grand Canyon in 2008.
Fortunately, Phil Anschutz purchased the railroad from Xanterra Parks & Resorts amd reveresed their short-sighted decision. The steam locomotives are back in operation. To alleviate the concern over the additional diesel fuel required by the locomotives, they are now run on used frier oil. A number of emnvironmentally damaging lubricants have been replaced with more environmentally friendly substances. It is certain that the steam locomotives will be a major boost to the tourist appeal of the Grand Canyon Railway.
Grand Canyon Railway Mikado 2-8-2 #4960 at the Williams depot, adjacent to historic Route 66. It was built in 1923 by the Baldwin Locomotive Works in Philidelphia for the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad. It is a class O-1A. It weighs 299,810 pounds. It runs on 4'-8.5" gauge rails. Its drive wheels are 64" in diameter. Its two steam cylinders are 27" in diameter and have a 30" stroke. It has a traction force of 52,300 pounds.
#4960 pulls out of the Williams depot on the first run of the 2010 season. After its retirement from mainline service, #4960 ran excursions for the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad from December 29, 1959 to July 17, 1966. #4960 was retired to the Circus World Museum in Baraboo, Wisconson. Then it was displayed at the Mid-Continent Railway Historical Society's museum at North Freedom, Wisconson. It ran excursions for the Bristol & North Western Railroad in Bristol, Virginia from 1981 to 1984. It was moved to Fort Wayne, Indiana in March 1985 and remained in storage until 1989, when it was disassembled and shipped to Williams, Arizona on flat cars. It was thoroughly rebuilt from 1993 to 1995.
The Cataract Creek Rambler heads out of the yard to the wye east of Williams. #4960 is pulling four 1923 vintage Harriman cars.
The Cataract Creek Rambler returns from its first run of the day, blowing its whistle as it approaches the crossing at East Rodeo Road.
#4960 prepares to back up into the depot.
#4960 backs into the depot.
The Cataract Creek Rambler backs up the branch leading to the Grand Canyon on the second run of the day. The branch was built by the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad in 1901. For many years it was the primary mode of access to the Grand Canyon for tourists.
The Cataract Creek Rambler returns from its second run of the day.
#4960 backs toward the depot.
A Burlington Northern & Santa Fe fast freight rolled past the Cataract Creek Rambler.
#4960 pulls out of the depot on the third excursion of the day.
#4960 rolls through the crossing at East Rodeo Road.
The Cataract Creek Rambler returns from its third run of the day.
Another antique mode of transport was available for tourist wishing to tour the town.
The Cataract Creek Rambler heads out of the depot at 1:00 PM for the fourth excursion of the day.
You can buy framed prints and greeting cards of this photograph.
The Cataract Creek Rambler will make more steam locomotive excursions on the weekends of Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day. It will run all the way to the Grand Cnyon on September 19.
Southwest Lumber Mills Mallet #12 is displayed at the Arizona Historical Society Pioneer Museum in Flagstaff. It has two sets of cylinders and drive wheels. Its undercarriage is articulated to allow it to negotiate the small radius curves of lumber railroads.
This Mallet initially served the Hammond Lumber Company of Mill City, Oregon as #6 from 1929 to 1931. Later it served the Hammond & Little River Railroad of Samoa, California as #12 from 1931 to 1936. The railroad changed its name to Hammond Redwood Company in 1936 and then to Hammond Lumber Company in 1942. #12 was transferred to the Arcata & Mad River Railroad of Blue Lake, California 1951. It was acquired by Southwest Lumber Mills of Flagstaff, Arizona in 1956. Southwest Forest Industries operated #12 in 1959 1n 1960. It was retired to display at the Coconino County Park in Flagstaff. It was moved to its current location in 1990.
I have photographed a number of other steam locomotives over the years.
Visit the Grand Canyon Railway steam locomotive page.
Read more about the history of #4960 on Steamlocomotive.com
Read more about the history of Southwest Lumber Mills Mallet #12
You can buy a 2018 Calendar featuring my photographs of steam locomotives.
Steam locomotives photographed in Arizona, California, and Colorado include:
Eureka Skunk Train Baldwin 2-8-2 #45,
Fillmore & Western Sespe 0-4-0 #1,
Fillmore & Western 2-8-0 #51,
Durango-Silverton Narrow-gauge K-28 2-8-2 #478,
Sierra Lima Shay No 2,
Santa Fe Baldwin Northern 4-8-4 #3751,
Union Pacific American Challenger 4-6-6-4 #3985,
Grand Canyon Baldwin Mikado 2-8-2 #4960,
Union Pacific American FEF-3 4-8-4 #844.
Put a copy of the Steam Locomotives 2018 Calendar in your Lulu.com shopping cart for $14.95.
You can buy a 2018 Calendar featuring my photographs of Union Pacific Steam Locomotive 844 pulling the Grand Canyon State Steam Special in Arizona on November 12 and 15, 2011.
A dozen pictures of Union Pacific Steam Locomotive 844 in Gilbert, Tempe, Coolidge, Picacho, and the Maricopa Mountains.
Put a copy of the Union Pacific Steam Locomotive 844 in Arizona 2018 Calendar in your Lulu.com shopping cart for $14.95.
Send a message to Brian.